Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Epilepsy Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Avoiding 'Pokemon' Seizures From TV, Video Games

Rapidly Flashing Lights May Trigger Rare Seizures, Experts Report

TV, Video Games Don't Cause Epilepsy continued...

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, photosensitivity epilepsy is more common in children and adolescents, especially those with generalized seizures, and becomes less frequent with age.

"The risk of having a seizure if you are sensitive is only one out of 17,000 viewers if you are young," says Erba. "If you are older, it's even less. It's one out of 90,000," he says.

Those numbers came from studies done in England a decade ago, Erba notes. "It doesn't reflect today's situation, with all these new video games that are coming on the market," he says.

Expert's Advice for Parents

An electroencephalogram (EEG) test is needed to check for light sensitivity, says Erba. EEG tests can monitor the electrical activity of the brain during light stimulation; an abnormal response can indicate light sensitivity.

Should parents ask for that test for kids who play video games?

Erba says it might be worth consulting a doctor about that if kids are "very, very engaged in video game playing and so forth" and if a family member is known to be sensitive to light or has certain types of epilepsy that are more likely to be associated with the problem.

Under those circumstances, Erba says his suggestion for parents is to talk to a doctor "and figure out whether it might be worthwhile to get [the child] to have an EEG."

If the child is not sensitive, "there is no danger. But if they are sensitive, they should probably take precautions," says Erba.

"To have seizures, you have to be sensitive and you have to be exposed to a combination of factors that will bring you over the brink," he says.

Today on WebMD

human head and brain waves
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Grand mal seizure
How is each one different?
 
marijuana plant
CBD, a plant chemical, may cut down seizures.
prescription bottle
Which medication is right for you?
 
Seizures Driving
Article
Questions for Doctor Epilepsy
Article
 
Graces Magic Diet
Article
Pills spilling from bottle in front of clock
Article
 
first aid kit
Article
Caring Child Epilepsy
Article
 
Making Home Safe
Article
epilepsy monitoring
Article